by Magda Katz
Amy Beth Williams’ debut of her new show Meet Me At The Bar at Don’t Tell Mama Wednesday night was one of the classiest cabaret performances this season. Ms. Williams, who has worked at a hotel bar for many years, gives the audience a glimpse of the many patrons that have sat on the stools in front of her. Under the brilliant direction of the legendary Marilyn Maye, she let the song move the narrative along with minimal patter to set up the scene. Ms. Williams also connected with the audience as she sang some of the gems of the Great American Songbook.
She started her set with Stephen Schwartz’s “Magic To Do” and followed it up with Jerry Herman’ s “You, I Like.”
The theme of the the Bar is continued through the show with Dave Guard’s, “Scotch and Soda,” Arthur Johnston & Sam Caslow’s “Cocktails For Two,” and Meredith Wilson’s “Belly Up to the Bar.” The highlight of the evening was Ms. Williams’ rendition of Billy Barnes’ “Something Cool.”
She paints a musical picture of a lonely woman sitting on a stool at a bar wanting to contact any stranger who happens to ask to buy her a cool drink on a hot day. Ms Williams’ performance on that song was truly a work of art.
Amy Beth Willams was backed by incredible musicians Jeff Harris, Pianist/conductor, Scott Thornton, bassist, Tony Tedesco, drummer.
This is a must see show for anyone who wants to know how magical cabaret could be. Special mention of Ms. Marilyn Maye’s direction is in order as she took a wonderfully talented singer and raised her to a new and very high plateau.
Photos: Magda Katz
Amy Beth Williams returns to Don’t Tell Mama on Saturday evening, June 8 at 8:30 pm – 343 West 46 Street, NYC 212 757-0788 (after 4 pm)